**Please choose one excerpt/day**
Teaser: Kiss Me
“I loved you.” She choked back a sob as the words she’d held back for nine years spilled out. “I never thought for a moment you were responsible. I had faith in you, but you didn’t have the same faith in me. You broke my heart.”
Zane rubbed his forearm across his face, then pitched his bottle over the fence and into the field. “I fucked up. Big time. I’ll spend the rest of my life regretting it. Hell, I regretted leaving the moment I drove away and I’ve regretted it every day since.”
Part of her wanted to go to him, wrap her arms around him and tell it him it was okay. It had felt so right when he kissed her. Like coming home. Maybe they could pick up where they left off. Erase the past. But the other part of her knew she couldn’t erase the pain of losing him, of losing hope and faith and love. She couldn’t erase the soul-destroying marriage to Mark or the years of hardship of raising Ty alone. They had changed. She wasn’t Evie anymore. She was Evangeline. And Zane wasn’t Zane. He was a Sinner, an outlaw, and he lived in a different world.
“I’d better go,” she said. “I have to be at work early, and I have babysitter coming over to look after Ty.”
“Maybe I should come over . . .”
Evie shook her head. “Let’s take it slow with you and Ty. One thing you two have in common is that neither of you is good with change.”
“What about you and me?”
Her mouth went dry, and her stomach churned. “There isn’t a you and me outside of Ty. I have my life, Zane and you have yours. We don’t have anything in common anymore.”
“And you and Viper do?” His voice dropped to a growl, so fierce and low the tree frogs stopped croaking, silencing the night. “How’d you wind up with that piece of shit?”
“He came to the shop for some paint work. I didn’t know much about the Jacks so I thought he was just another biker. He was charming, intelligent . . . probably the most interesting guy I'd met to since coming to Conundrum. When he came back a third time for a touch-up on his fender, he asked me out. Bill told me who he was and said I should be careful."
"Probably made you want him more," he said quietly.
"Maybe it did. Maybe I wanted to prove to myself I could handle a man like him—the way I couldn't handle Mark—and that I didn't need anyone to save me. I made a decision to take control of my life when things went wrong with Mark. I realized I'd spent too much time chasing a dream of finding someone to look after me when really I needed to look after myself. But that's not all it was. I liked him, and I was flattered by his attention. I enjoy his company. I'm not ashamed of that.” She turned back to the house and Zane grabbed her arm, spinning her back to face him.
“You’re done with him. I don’t give a fucking damn how you feel about him, or what you’ve got going on. He’s a vicious, ruthless, coldhearted bastard. I know you got that wild in you, and maybe that’s why you’re with him, but he’s dangerous and I won’t let him near you or my son.”
Evie shook him off, anger warring with confusion, her emotions battling against her aching want for the only man she’d ever loved. “Maybe the reason I was with him is because he reminded me of you.”
Wrong thing to say. Eyes glittering, he lunged for her, clasping her wrist in his warm palm, pulling her to him. “Then be with me.”
“I can’t.” Her throat tightened and she had to force the words out. “What we had is broken and it can’t be fixed. I can’t do this with you again. I just couldn’t bear to be with you and have you disappear again. And I've moved on. I don't need you that way anymore.”
He wrapped his arms around her, buried his face in her neck. “What we had is still there. I can feel it and I know you feel it, too.”
His warmth seeped into her skin, his arms strong around her. Yes, their chemistry was still there. She could feel it pulsing through veins, an arousal so fierce she could feel it in her fingers and toes.
“Kiss me.” Zane’s voice was hoarse, tight. “Kiss me and tell me you don’t feel what I feel. Kiss me and tell me you want him and not me.”
Unable to pull herself away, her mind clouded with desire, she acquiesced to his demand. Twining her fingers through his hair, she pulled him down and kissed him. Zane groaned and squeezed her so tight , she could feel the press of his buckle against her stomach. His tongue tangled with hers and he took over, returning her kiss with an intensity that left her breathless and made her knees tremble. She ached for him, wanted nothing more than to strip off his clothes and drown in the heat of his body.
“I wanna see you, my sweet Evie. I wanna bare your body, lick every inch of you, feel your skin against mine. I wanna be inside you so deep you forget everything but me.”
Evie took a quick glance to each side to make sure they weren’t in view of the neighbors, but with the trees around them, and a field to the back, there were well hidden in the shadows. And although she knew she should refuse him, walk away and hold firm to her resolve, she licked the taste of him off her lips and whispered, “Yes.”
He slid down the straps of her dress, undid the catch of her bra, dragging it over her arms, baring her breasts to his heated gaze. “Ah, God,” he whispered. So fucking beautiful.” He cupped her left breast in his palm, kneading it gently as he ravaged her mouth with sensual kisses. White hot heat sizzled down to her core and she moaned.
“I remember that sound,” he murmured. “I remember everything about that night in the forest, the softness of your skin, your breath on my cheek, your hard little nipples, the slickness of your pussy. I remember what it feels like to be inside you. That night ruined me for other women, Evie. I’ve only ever wanted you.”
He held her arms behind her, pinning her wrists with one hand while he kissed her breasts, sucked gently on her nipples, tasting, devouring her. She tugged against his grip, wanting to touch him, slide her hands over his broad chest, work her fingers through his hair, and caress those broad shoulders. But he held her fast, and the restraint aroused her, made her more wanton, more desperate to have him inside her.
“Tell me, Evie.” His voice dropped to a husky growl. “Tell me you want me.”
“I want you,” she whispered. “It was always you.”
A dog barked. A man shouted. She heard the low rumble of a quad in the field and suddenly the fog in her brain lifted. She was a mom. Ty was sleeping inside. Her neighbors were sleeping only fifty feet away. She’d just ditched the man she’d been dating for the last four weeks. What was she doing only hours later in her backyard with the man who had broken her heart? A man who had walked away and would no doubt leave her again. A biker. Living the biker life.
Steeling herself, she forced herself to meet his gaze. “But when I gave up hoping you would ever come back, I let you go. I’m sorry, Zane. I’m not ready to open that door again.”
He released her so abruptly she almost lost her balance, but if she’d thought to push him away, she was gravely mistaken.
“Whatever it takes for you to trust me, I’ll do.” He wrapped his hand around her neck and leaned down to kiss her cheek. “If you want me to go slow, I’ll go slow. If you need gentle, I’ll be gentle. I will do what it takes, however long it takes. But I won’t let anyone else have you. You are mine, Evie. You’ve been mine since you were eight years old. And now that I’ve found you again, I’m not gonna let you go.”
“Take off your clothes.” Evie leaned against Zane’s bedroom door, more for support than a means of escape.
“Evie . . .”
A growl curled in her throat, her anger growing as she realized this was the beginning of the end. Once she saw what was under his shirt, there would be no going back. “Take them off. I want to see what he did to you.”
He pulled his shirt over his head and tossed it on the bed, then he stripped down to his boxers. Her legs trembled as her gaze swept over his body, starting at his feet, her strength leaving her as she took in the discolored skin on his shins and thighs, the cuts on his wrists, and then gave out when she saw the full extent of his bruised and lacerated torso.
Her beautiful Zane.
She sank down to the floor, wrapped her arms around her legs and buried her head and sobbed, the grief ripping her apart inside. Tears spilled down her cheeks dripping on the floor with each ragged inhale. She cried not just for him, but for them, and the knowledge they could never be together.
“Fuck.” Zane’s voice was harsh, raw as he crossed the room to kneel beside her. “Sweetheart, it’s not as bad as it looks.”
She shook her head, held herself tighter, unable to speak for the images spinning around in her mind. Jagger had no bruises on his body. That guilty look on his face when he’d come into the shop . . . the marks on Zane’s wrists.
Zane hadn’t fought back. His hands were tied and he hadn’t fought back.
“Let me explain.” He cradled her in his arms, as if she was the one hurting. She supposed, in a way, she was.
“There’s nothing to say that could make this acceptable to me.” Evie sniffed back her tears. “I can’t do this, Zane. Seeing you like this is tearing me apart. I’ll never be able to forgive Jagger, never forget what he did to you. I won’t even pretend to understand how you agreed to it. The fact that you live in a world where this kind of thing goes on is bad enough, but on top of it . . . your patches . . . blood . . .”
“I’ll leave.” Simple words and yet they weighed heavy on her heart.
“I don’t want you to leave.” She held herself stiff, afraid to touch his battered body. “This club means everything to you. That you would take that beating from your best friend tells me how much you love this life. You would hate me every day for taking you away from it.”
“I love you more,” he said. “I have always loved you. I’ve lived my life in the shadows because I couldn’t let you go.” He drew in a ragged breath, brushed his lips over her hair. “I can’t lose you now. I went looking for Viper because I couldn’t bear to lose you.”
She struggled to sit, pushed herself to standing. “I can’t bear the thought of losing you either, but I don’t even know who I am anymore. All I know is that I’ve been stupidly naive, and this life you lead isn’t for me. I want to be with you, but I don’t see how this can work.”
His face smoothed, eyes darkened. Even now she knew him so well, she could see his emotional retreat.
She closed her fist and hit it to her breast, her eyes stinging with tears all over again. “It hurts me to see you in pain. It hurts me to think of you suffering. It hurts me to think of you in such danger that you have to take a life. I’ve spent my whole life hurting because I wanted you and couldn’t have you. I just can’t take the hurting anymore. I love you, Zane, but it hurts just too damn bad, and now you’re taking risks for me that could get you killed. I don’t want that. Even if we can’t be together, I need to know you’re alive and happy and doing what you love to do.”
His voice, when he spoke, was thick with pain. “You want to walk away? What about Ty?”
“I don’t know.” God, why couldn’t she stop crying? “I need some time to think about it. He adores you. He’s so happy to have you in his life, I can’t take that away from him.”
She turned, reached for the door, but it felt too wrong. Unfinished. There was something she needed to do.
“Will you let me do something for you before I go?”
She gestured to his bruised, battered body. “You did this for me. I want to give something back. I want to take care of you so when I leave I’ll know you’re going to be okay.”
His life was all about pain.
And yet the pain in his body was nothing compared to the pain in his heart. Zane’s hand clenched on his breast. If he could rip his damn heart out of his chest he would. Go back to the darkness that had sustained him for the last nine years, back to the shadows. Out of the damn light.
He heard the rush of water in the shower from the en suite bathroom, a luxury afforded only the senior patch brothers who kept rooms at the clubhouse, but he couldn’t go in. He was too wound up, too out of control, too damn emotional.
What else could he do? He had meant every word when he told her he would fight to be with her. He just hadn’t realized she would be the one standing in his way.
With a roar, he thudded his fist against the wall. His hands were about the only place on his body that wasn’t bruised. Might as remedy that problem because he had saved them for nothing.
When he felt no release from his assault on the wall, he ripped a drawer from the dresser and smashed it on the ground. Clothes flew across the room and the wood cracked and splintered. Like his heart.
But now that the floodgates had opened, he couldn’t stop. He lifted the drawer and smashed it down again, his aching muscles protesting the impact. “Do you want him, Evie? Is that it? Is that what this is all about?” He knew it was ludicrous. She had seen who Viper was, but he needed a reason, something he could change.
“No, baby. You know that’s not true. Now come let me wash you and look after those cuts and bruises.”
Smash. Smash. Smash. He tore the drawer apart. He loved her compassion and yet he hated it if it meant the last time he touched her he would be in pain.
“I’ll shower with you so I can look after you properly.” She clasped the bottom of her T-shirt and tugged it over her head. Zane froze mid-strike, his primal instincts sharpening at the sight of her skin and her beautiful breasts encased in blue satin.
“I don’t want your help.” He threw the remnants of the drawer across the room.
“Too bad. And if you can’t it for you, then do it for me.” Evie undid the bra and tossed it on the bed with her shirt. “It will make me . . . feel better.” She slid her jeans and panties over her hips and then kicked them off. Gloriously naked, quietly confident, undaunted by his rage, she turned into the bathroom. “Come on.”
Zane’s body shook, torn between going after his woman and unleashing his frustrations on the rest of the furniture.
Don’t go in. He knew what would happen if he followed her, and it wouldn’t involve standing still while she treated his wounds. And with his heart raw and exposed, he didn’t think he could handle that level of intimacy without totally losing control. With a growl, he ripped out another drawer, and hammered it against the wall until it shattered, pieces flying in all directions. Exhausted, he sank down on the bed, the ruins of the drawers scattered at his feet, his muscles quivering at the exertion. He could hear the shower behind him, feel the breath of steam, smell the floral fragrance of shampoo.
Overwhelmed with the need to touch her, he stripped off his clothes, all thoughts of staying away forgotten beneath the desire to hold her in his arms one last time.
Evie turned when he stepped into the shower, rivulets of water streaming over her beautiful body. “Took you long enough. Did you break all the drawers?”
Words deserted him. He took her in his arms and held her against him.
“It’s okay,” she murmured against his chest, her arms tightening around him. “We’ll be okay.”
He didn’t know how long they stood under the warm water, but his heart finally slowed its frenetic beat and the tension eased from his body.
“And you’re mine. That won’t change.” She slid her hands up his chest ever so gently to circle his neck.
She was right about that. Nothing wouldn’t change. He would find a way. He would fight for her until he couldn’t fight anymore.
Meet Zane & Evie in Sinner’s Steel on October 6th!
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1h8YO9T
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1Vquk0u
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1MF4YtE
HE'S HELL ON WHEELS.
Tall, dark, and dangerously handsome, Zane "Tracker" Colter is the strong, silent type of tattooed muscle biker who drives women wild. But as a master of strategy for the outlaw MC club, Sinner's Tribe, he doesn't have time to play around with groupies and biker chicks-especially when he can't stop thinking about Evie, the girl who got away...
SHE'S PLAYING WITH FIRE.
Evie's been in love with Zane ever since they were children-until he broke her heart and disappeared. Now he's back in her life, bigger and badder than ever. Zane is stunned by how beautiful and confident Evie's become, using her artistic talent to customize motorcycles. He wants her so bad, he'd ride through fire to win her back. There's one problem: Evie is dating his deadliest rival-the leader of the Black Jacks-and if Evie and Zane hook up, there'll be hell to pay... in Sinner's Steel.
The Sinner’s Tribe Motorcycle Club Series
Rough Justice (Book One)
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1JShtlC
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1Q7GYPA
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1PJiwJi
Beyond the Cut (Book Two)
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1PJi4uH
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1Q7GSHt
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1LAC0cz
Sinner’s Steel (Book Three)
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1h8YO9T
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1Vquk0u
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1MF4YtE
About the Author:
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Sarah Castille worked and travelled abroad before trading her briefcase and stilettos for a handful of magic beans and a home near the Canadian Rockies. She writes contemporary erotic romance and romantic suspense featuring blazingly hot alpha heroes and the women who tame them. Her books include the bestselling “Redemption” fighter romance series, and the dark, gritty Sinner’s Tribe Motorcycle Club romance series.